Abbott arrives in Ottawa ahead of trade and security talks


Mr Abbott also used the opportunity to address the media on the Coalition’s proposed budget measures, saying he would be “sticking by” his paid parental leave policy.



Mr Abbott spoke on climate change, saying that he and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper agreed on the disadvantages of a carbon tax.

Abbott being asked on climate change: I’ve already spoken on climate change on numerous occasions to PM Harper #auspol

— Stephanie Anderson (@stephanieando) June 8, 2014

Abbott: Steven Harper & I are like minded on this [re. campaigning against a carbon tax]. I believe carbon taxes… are the wrong way to go

— Stephanie Anderson (@stephanieando) June 8, 2014

Mr Abbott is the first Australian prime minister to visit Canada since John Howard in 2006, who arrived just months after Mr Harper’s conservative government was elected.

Mr Abbott said the re-elected Mr Harper had succeeded in convincing Canadian voters at the last national poll of the perils of carbon pricing.

“Stephen Harper and I are like-minded on this,” Mr Abbott said.

“The argument is not about climate change – the argument is about the best means to respond to climate change and I believe that carbon taxes and emissions trading schemes are the wrong way to go.”

He said he would be holding discussions with cross bench senators regarding the proposed repeal of the carbon tax, adding that “there is no sign that trading schemes are being increasingly adopted”.

The comments come ahead of Mr Abbott’s meeting with US President Barack Obama, who recently announced a target of cutting emissions from power stations by 30 per cent by 2030 and wants a global deal on tackling climate change next year.

Mr Abbott and Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson are in Ottawa to speak on the loaning of artwork to the Canadian War Museum, including William Longstaff’s painting Menin Gate at Midnight and 32 lithographs of drawings by William Henry Dyson.

Mr Abbott also laid a wreath at the museum, as well as addressing those gathered on investment and collaboration between the two countries.

Abbott: We are large investors in each other… As a result of this trip, we will see significantly more investment from Canada in Aust.

— Stephanie Anderson (@stephanieando) June 8, 2014

Abbott says the trip’s also an opportunity to “deepen his friendship” with the Canadian PM, who has “gone from strength to strength” #auspol

— Stephanie Anderson (@stephanieando) June 8, 2014

Mr Abbott has met with business executives from Australia and Canada for discussions on investment in infrastructure.

Canada’s cashed-up pension funds have about $27 billion invested in Australia.

Many of the funds already have stakes in a number of Australian projects including Sydney’s desalination plant, the Barangaroo South office tower, the Port of Brisbane and Victoria’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

But Mr Abbott expects greater interest in the future as state assets are put up for sale, encouraged by a federal incentive payment.

Further investment talks will be held in New York, where Mr Abbott is expected to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and media baron Rupert Murdoch.

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